The Luminary Adept

The Luminary Adept

The Luminary Adept



I know the true name of fire, and the 1000 names of the demons King Suleman bound, and how to compel their service.

I know of a hidden grotto where all your every secret desire can come true for one night of ecstasy. I know the Way to a library filled with uncounted volumes of lore concerning everything that has been, is, and shall ever be. This knowledge makes me a threat.

I know where the bodies of thirteen children rest and the name of the entity who they were sacrificed to keep asleep. I know the face of the creature from who’s wrist the village elder drank before he ordered their executions.

I know what the face of a possessed man looks like, and what he looked like when freed from a demon’s grasp to realize he has eaten his own child and wife. I know how fast a woman capable of changing her shape can snap and kill a caravan of innocents. I know who began killing those courtesans, and what madness overtook him. I know what he looked like as he died, and where he’s buried, he was once my friend.

I know that the world is a thin veneer of reason spread too thin over madness, darkness, and nightmares come to life. I know how to look past that veneer to see true reality. I know I don’t have to look. I know every time I do, no matter what I see. it costs me a little bit, another pinch of what makes me human. I know I am fooling myself, I have to know, I have to look, gods help me.

May the gods help us all.


This is the Second draft of my attempt at a free-form magic casting class that is more reminiscent of Mage, or Ars Magica, than your usual D&D style magic users. It’s still rough in places, but pretty much playable

I have three different versions of the Playbook:

* The one labelled as DW CORE is formatted to work right alongside the core classes in the DW book, it has alignments and races to pick from.

* The one labelled IW and GW COMPATIBLE means that it has Drives and Backgrounds listed to fit in-line with the classes from those games. ( I also have a section for Adept themed Death moves and vehicles, but I haven’t done much there yet.

* The one labelled CUSTOM, is showcasing another idea I’ve been playing with, wherein Backgrounds are expanded to become more like Compendium Classes, and a player would choose one of either their class’ Background CCs, or any other CC their GM approved of.

I have an idea of going back and creating several class-based BCCs for the core DW classes, as well as general ones representing skills or professions that would bring depth to our DW characters!

Link to Folder:

(Feel free to post any comments or criticisms here, I am constantly working and updating as I go.)

9 thoughts on “The Luminary Adept”

  1. there should be on the CUSTOM playbook, starting on page 4. it’s an explanation of the idea behind it, and then a series of BCCs designed for this class to use.

    Was there a detail I missed, or wasn’t clear enough with?

  2. no worries, yes I made every effort to explain all the new or altered mechanics and systems as I introduced them.

    for example: all the playbooks have the altered spellcasting move, so I made sure they all have the section explaining how bonds and magic and that move work.

    the BCCs only appear in the CUSTOM playbook, so that’s the only place where they are explained in more detail.

    I apologize if anything was confusing!

  3. Okay I checked it out and its a cool concept. But I have a few things I dont really understand, What differentiates him from a standard wizard, other than the new magic system? If its meant to be a replacement I understand that. And while this has some cool ideas behind it mainly seems to be one or two ideas. He is good at magic and knows more about magic than most people. To me it seems rather limiting. 

    I think the class needs one or two more core concepts added to the mix, because as is its too much for a compendium class but not really quite enough for a playbook

    I am being coherent? Either way, sorry if that was harsh. But I see a lot of potential in this class, it just needs focus. You should probably name 3 or 4 things the Adept can do better than most people and incorporate them into sufficiently different core move.

    And also those are some fantastic background moves! A few of them could really just become their own class.

  4. I really like the idea of a magic user who grows more estranged from people as he delves further into magic. A couple questions:

    What’s the relationship between Weave A Spell and Cast an Evocation? Are they two separate ways to cast magic, or do they both trigger when you use magic?

    Is the Arcane Attunement roll a straight, unmodified roll? If so, this seems to me to give the class the feeling that the Currents of Magic are pretty random. You never know how much power you can draw on. Is that the feel you’re going for? If the roll had a stat modifier like INT or WIS it would give the feeling that as you get more experienced and learn more about magic, you can handle drawing on more power.

    Nice class; after reading it I want to try it out!

  5. Weave a spell is basically Prepare Spells crossed with Spellbook that you always have access to. Or another way to look at it is like the fighter’s signature weapon, except you make a new single use weapon every time.

    Cast an Evocation is Cast a Spell with slight changes to fit better with the way magic works. The actual casting of a spell happens and triggers here.

    About Magic:

    Aside from making the user unintelligibly alien to other people, magic itself is chaotic and capricious, even an Archmage can have a bad day and be caught in an ebb of the flow of magic, etc.

    So yeah, that is absolutely the feel I’m going for, which is also why the 6- results give a decent amount of Focus, even if you nominally failed, you are never entirely starting out unable to cast spells.

    However it gets ‘interesting’ if you burn through all your Focus, then you have essentially a mini-game of using your other core stats to keep up with the party without your spells, or the moves that cost Focus to maintain or trigger. Like a fighter with broken armor, or a thief who is out of potions, or the wizard who has forgotten all his spells and cantrips. It’s a unique vulnerability that I encourage, in fact it’s even a little friendlier in that the class’ damage is d6 to keep them in the game and acting!

    Shadi Alhusary Thanks for looking it over.

    the intention for core DW and IW playbook is to be a replacement to the typical wizard or mage classes.

    I felt that the magic was flexible enough to stand on its own as ac lass basis, but the Adept is not 100% about magic, the knowledge move is used to see magic at work, but if you look closer at the benefit its’ also a mark of being a very powerful thinker and observer. Making 7+ count like a 10+, and so on.

    The custom file is one in which I am using some of my own mechanical designs, and the broader idea there is to make all classes a bit more focused and less narrow (instead of 3-4 different things) but everybody will have access to BCCs from level 1.

    In my design, the Adept would almost completely replace the wizard as a core class, or the wizard would be reduced to a weaker CC or BCC

  6. To add another note: I intentionally made the majority of the magic and spellcasting work without using the core six stats. (Some magic-related moves do use the stats, but I feel they should be fairly self evident as to why)

    My reasoning for this is that I wanted to break away from the “Magic User must only use INT and can never do anything but Magic” mold and put the focus onto a broader idea which the player decides on, and what fiction fits the character concept.

    For example: Even the core Fighter has moves that use DEX, CON, STR, and even CHA, because they make sense to do so, and also bring some variety to all the types of Fighters you can make, even aside from Signature Weapon. Fast fighters, giant fighters, etc.

     That said there’s a bunch of weaknesses in the fighter as well, like too many moves being +this, or just modifying previous moves [ironically, I fell into this same trap with the Adept :)]

    I wanted to have a similar thing for Adepts built right in from step one.

    An Adept can be Strong and Tough, wearing armor and carrying weapons, but they aren’t good at it like the fighter is, and they can cast spells.

    An Adept who specializes in Wis and INT is likely to be an excellent investigator, and the person who translates the scroll, figures out the puzzle trap, and so on.

    I purposefully left the thematic focus slightly blurred in favor of general archetypes, as well as encouraging a lot of ‘out there’ ideas.

    If I do manage to go through with my entire proposed idea, I’ll have done a similar reworking to all the core classes in such a way as they still each have a ‘thing’ but they also have more options for adding ‘extra thing A’ and ‘extra thing B’.

    This will probably result in a net shortening of (my version of) the core classes by a lot. The Adept itself only has 16 advanced moves instead of 20, and I’ll probably be trimming those down even further.

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